Meet Juan(ito) Doe by Ricardo Gamboa at the Storyfront Street Theater in collaboration with Free Street Theater
Meet Juan(ito) Doe, directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Ana Velazquez, is a play performed by an ensemble of brown, down, Chi-towners and based on stories that they've collected from the city's Mexican-American and immigrant communities. The stories are collected through events such as bar crawls, drag Mexican bingo nights and karaoke nights, amongst others as well as through hosting story circles at the Meet Juan(ito) Doe Storyfront, a storefront in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that Gamboa and co. rented and renovated to collect stories and offer cultural programming. “Chicago is a city where Mexicans are everywhere, we’ve been here and have contributed so much to this city, but you really wouldn’t know it by looking at mainstream media or textbooks,” says Ricardo Gamboa, activist, director and playwright. Meet Juan(ito) Doe will provide a platform to address the lack of representation of Chicago’s Mexican-Americans and immigrants.
Meet Juan(ito) Doe is a collaboration with the Free Street Theater. “Free Street Theater was founded in 1969 and since then we’ve been committed to telling stories with, by, and for Chicago’s diverse communities. We believe in the power of letting people share their story. Ricardo’s project is emblematic of the important work we’ve been doing,” says Free Street Artistic Director Coya Paz.
Sons & Lovers by Donna Hoke
Buffalo United Artists
As long as Ellen doesn’t openly acknowledge that husband Butch is a cheater or son Bill is gay, they’re just... not. As long as Bill doesn’t introduce Marq to his mother, he can avoid commitment. It takes fantasy, farce, and one fabulous makeover before the truth flies free, and mother and son discover just how much they have in common.
It’s Hoke’s words that sparkle and shine. While coming out is no walk in the park, she lets Bill’s reluctance reveal and then resolve itself without becoming cliché. She nudges her characters to mirror Bill’s strength. Afterall, “life is all about taking chances." Buffalo Theatre Guide
With this interplay of truth and illusion, Hoke arguably evokes such current writers as Sarah Ruhl or Paula Vogel, women who often locate the untold stories that lie just beneath the surface of what seems to be going on. Anthony Chase, ArtVoice
The Carthage Theatre Department presents the dark and thrilling comedy “Twin Set” by MT Cozzola
Sept. 29-Oct. 7 in Wartburg Theatre
In this play, written by Chicago Dramatists resident playwright MT Cozzola, sisters Meggy and Betty do everything together; they work together, volunteer at their church together, live together in a cute apartment, and even dress identically in meticulously planned outfits. They are happy in their routine until a former classmate, the cynical Marnie, returns to their hometown to finalize a divorce. Sympathetic to Marnie’s bad fortune, the sisters welcome her into their home and find their world turned upside down by Marnie’s untraditional ways. As Marnie becomes more involved in the sisters’ day to day activities, they find themselves second guessing their way of life. Betty begins to question her past as Meggy looks toward the future. Will the two reconnect and return to their usual routine, or will they discover their lives have been irrevocably changed by Marnie’s arrival?
From American Theatre Magazine:
Arabs and Muslims Onstage: Can We Unpack Our Baggage?
American theatres still have a habit of seeing Middle Eastern characters as embodying controversy rather than humanity.
BY YUSSEF EL GUINDI
When it comes to countering the implicit, and sometimes explicit, prejudices that the larger society exhibits toward Arabs and Muslims, American theatres are not particularly ahead of the curve. While some theatres have bravely and commendably gone out of their way to address the deluge of negativity the mainstream culture exhibits towards most things Middle Eastern, those theatres are rare.
This is disappointing. One expects theatre to rise above the crassness that swirls through the currents of mainstream culture. You would hope that theatres espouse values that more commercial fare might shy away from. You want theatre, especially nonprofit theatre, to champion values that might interfere with the bottom line. Not that we want theatre to lose touch with a wide audience, lest it become perceived as being even more elitist than it already is. Crassness, after all, can be fun.
Theatre has some of its roots firmly planted in the mud—in the foibles and weirdness of human nature. “Rising above” mainstream culture doesn’t mean theatre should eschew any of the broad, popular memes currently in circulation in it. By all means artists should feel free infuse their work with whatever is most fashionably current—in style, aesthetics, popular thought, songs, etc. But theatre should also have a critical eye; it should offer up critiques, contextualize, and provide some kind of critical framework through which to view the culture and politics of the day. Because most theatres are nonprofits, they should be more daring in terms of the subject matter they choose, staging stories and perspectives that might be hard to find elsewhere.
This is the ideal. And given this ideal, expressed by many theatre mission statements, I wonder why there aren’t more plays by and about people who come from the Middle East. Never has any one area of the world had more impact on the U.S. than the Middle East. Repeatedly. Every year for as long as most of us can remember.
"10 Acrobats In An Amazing Leap of Faith" by Yussef El Guindi at Silk Road Rising in Chicago.
Yussef El Guindi’s most recent productions include "Threesome" at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); "The Ramayana" (co-adaptor with Stephanie Timm) at ACT; and "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World" (winner of the Steinberg/ American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; Gregory Award 2011; Seattle Times’ “Footlight Award” for Best World Premiere Play, 2011) also at ACT, and at Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA) 2013; and "Language Rooms" (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well as ACT’s New Play Award), co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco; at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premiere), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Other productions: "Jihad Jones and The Kalashnikov Babes", produced at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. It has also been performed at Theater Schmeater in Seattle, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Massachusetts, and at Cyrano’s Theatre Company in Anchorage. His play "Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat" was produced by Silk Road Theater Project and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His plays, "Back of the Throat" (winner of L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), as well as "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World", "Jihad Jones and The Kalashnikov Babes", "Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda’s and Karima’s City", have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in "The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005", published by Applause Books. "Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith" (winner of Chicago’s “After Dark/John W. Schmid Award” for Best New Play in 2006) is included in "Salaam/ Peace: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern American Playwrights", published by TCG, 2009. "Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat" is included in the anthology "Four Arab American Plays" published by McFarland Books. "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World" was included in the September, 2012 issue of American Theatre Magazine. And "Language Rooms" was published in Rain City Projects’ anthology "Manifesto Series Volume 3". Yussef is the recipient of the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award, and Seattle’s 2015 Stranger’s Genius Award. He holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright-in-residence at Duke University. His new play, "The Talented Ones" received its world premiere at the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon, in its 2016/17 season.
From The Oregonian/OregonLive
"The Talented Ones," a sharp, instantly engaging, alternately earnest and sardonic comedy by playwright Yussef El Guindi that's getting its world premiere at Artists Repertory Theatre, takes a deep dive into its real setting: the intersection between immigration and the American Dream."
Read The Talented Ones By Yussef El Guindi
As part of
Season Eleven 2018: Heroes
16th Street Theater Presents
The Hero’s Wife by Aline Lathrop
Directed by Ann Filmer
The difference between night and day becomes dangerous for this hero’s wife
July 12 – August 18, 2018
Cameron doesn’t remember what he does at night, and Karyssa doesn’t tell him. He's just retired from the Navy SEALs, and most of his life has been classified. What's left, he mostly doesn't want to talk about. His young bride thinks his night terrors may her way in. During the day, they negotiate dinner plans, career ambitions, and video games. At night, he is both more available and more dangerous. The story moves forward in time, flipping back and forth between short daytime and shorter nighttime scenes, as Karyssa tries to connect with Cameron through nostalgic skype sex and secretly learned Arabic sleep talk. In the end, she will risk both of their lives to reach him.
ARTEMISIA FALL FESTIVAL 2017
Parts of Speech
Oct 4th at 7:30 pm
Janet Burroway won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing by the Florida Humanities Council and is a novelist, essayist and playwright. Her plays
Sweepstakes, Division of Property, and Media With Child (Reva Shiner award, Bloomington Playwrights Project, 1996; Sideshow, 2009) have been performed in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Chicago.
Parts of Speech won the 1015 Brink! Development prize of Renaissance Theatreworks, Milwaukee; and Boomerang won Sideshow Theatre Company's Freshness award in 2015. Her memoir Losing Tim appeared in 2014, and a play loosely based on that memoir, Headshots, is in development at Chicago Dramatists and Pulse Ensemble Theatre in New York. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University, and a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.
The Directors Company, in association with ShadowCatcher Entertainment
A new play by Dan McCormick
Directed by Joseph Discher
What happens when a world-renowned musician leaves his beloved instrument in the back seat of a New York City cab?
When Bobby, Terry, and Gio—two hapless brothers and a world-weary tailor—find a 1710 Stradivarius violin worth four million dollars in the back of a New York City taxi, it looks like the opportunity to change their fortunes may have landed in their laps. A shot at their dreams, however will mean some quick decisions testing loyalty and family ties with irrevocable consequences.
Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc.
Representing writers since 1928.